HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 15-025
Brian Sullivan
(202) 708-0685
For Release
February 27, 2015


WASHINGTON - Four student-led teams from universities across the country are among the finalists selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a competition to encourage research and innovation in affordable housing design and planning. Among these finalists, one team of graduate students will be chosen for the best solution for redevelopment of a senior housing high-rise in Houma, Louisiana.

HUD's Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition ( seeks to encourage research and innovation in affordable housing, to raise practitioner and future practitioner capacity, and to foster cross-cutting team-work within the design and community development process.

"These young minds are the future of affordable housing," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. "By hosting this competition, we hope to stimulate new ways to tackle old challenges and open more doors to opportunity for years to come."

HUD and the Houma-Terrebonne Housing Authority (HTHA) challenged multi-disciplinary teams of graduate students to consider the complex challenges associated with rehabbing the current structure or demolishing it and creating new construction. These student participants needed to consider design, community development, and financing elements in order to provide an all-encompassing plan and solution that would allow HTHA to meet its goal of offering safe and sustainable affordable housing to area seniors. Students also needed to understand the needs of the intended residents, the zoning restrictions, and leveraging opportunities.

The four finalist teams are:

  • University of Minnesota - Team members Hilary Lovelace, Jody Rader, Erika Brown, Atticus Jaramillo, and Zachary Zweifler designed a new construction development. While focusing on intergenerational relationships, the design features 252 ADA accessible units, passive ventilation, and rain gardens, as well as a pavilion and outdoor classroom. 
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Team members Laura Krawczyk, John Whitcomb, Luis Ochoa, Edith Medina Huarita, and Precy Agtarap proposed a gut retrofit of Bayou Towers. The rehab features universal and active design throughout, as well as a rooftop community garden and digital literacy intergenerational programming.
  • University of Kansas - Team members Savannah Greenlee, Ashton Martin, Kyle Killian, Tu Tran, and Taylor Monsees designed a new construction which features an Intergenerational Living Laboratory to provide health services and research relating to physical, emotional, mental, and social health. The development also features numerous design elements that facilitate aging in place.
  • New York University (NYU) - Team members Constantine Caloudas, Christopher Hayner, Matthew Jupin, Pete Lovanella, and Michelle Gruber created a new construction development which includes retail space and an Early Childcare Center. A variety of on-site services and activities are offered to address the needs of the community. 

The finalists will visit the project site on March 18th and hear from local HTHA staff. The competition will culminate on April 21 in a final presentation at HUD's Headquarters in Washington. A jury of five academics, practitioners, planners, and architects will hear the presentation of the student finalist teams. The jury will come to a decision and the first place team will receive $20,000 and the runner up will receive $10,000.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

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Content Archived: January 25, 2017